VITO MANNONE revealed Leandro Bacuna apologised to the Reading FC dressing room after his reckless lunge on Fulham wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon.

The former Aston Villa midfielder stupidly crashed into 17-year-old Sessegnon deep into added time at Craven Cottage and with Royals trailing 1-0.

Sessegnon was near the halfway line when Bacuna lunged in from behind with both feet, giving referee Lee Mason little option but to send him off.

Bacuna will now be banned for three of Reading's last four Championship games starting with a massive relegation six-pointer at home to Sunderland this Saturday (3pm ko).

And Mannone said: “It was a little bit of a rush of blood to the head, he said it himself in the dressing room.

“It’s a painful one because we’re going to miss him for the next three games. He’s an important player for us, we need everyone but these things happen in football.

“He apologised, he knows himself that he lost his head. Fulham were wasting time and passing the ball around towards the end. But he knows he can’t react in that way.

“We’re going for the games more but sometimes you overstep the mark and make tackles that you wouldn’t normally make.”

Paul Clement's side are now preparing for Saturday’s crunch clash with Chris Coleman's relegation-haunted Black Cats, who are six points from safety going into the game (3pm Ko).

And Mannone backed Royals to take all three points against his former side.

“We need to be positive and believe in ourselves,” he asserted. “Against Fulham, we played some good football at times. We put them under pressure and we held our shape well.

“In the first half they were getting stressed and they were putting balls out.

“We have to focus on our home game now. We’ve delivered in our last two home games so we need to do it against Sunderland.”